Back with another tutorial on Egyptian mythology. This time it's Ra, the head honcho of the Egyptian pantheon... at least, that's how I've always known him. I decided to add a little extra fantasy twist to his design. I hope you enjoy.
We'll begin the guide drawing by blocking in the shapes of the head. Draw an upside-down almond shape for the face, and then outline the head dress around that.
We'll draw the chest as a sort of egg shape. The stomach and pelvis have a little twist going on, so draw an S for the center line. Notice the different bends on the sides of the body.
Draw a ball for each shoulder. Then add the upper arm shape, thick at the top, with narrow curves coming together at the elbow. Draw a diamond for each kneecap. Then draw a large rectangular shape for each thigh. One hip juts out at a severe angle. Most of the body weight will rest on this leg.
Next draw the extended diamond shape of each forearm, with an exaggerated curve to the shape. Add a block for each hand form. The lower legs curve out below the knee, and then have a sharp curve inward as they become very skinny toward the ankle. Draw a ball for each ankle and then add the simple form of the feet. The extended leg's foot is viewed from the side, so we see the arch of the foot.
Lighten your guides, and we'll start the final line art. You may need to zoom in to see the detail as we begin working on the face. The first shape to draw is that of the beak. We're viewing it straight-on, so the shape should be symmetrical. The beak curves down on top for the eye sockets, and back up for the cheekbones.
We'll draw some Venom-like eye shapes sprouting up from the beak. Below, we'll draw the outline of the entire lower jaw section. His mouth will be open, so make this shape rather tall from top to bottom.
Use very thin lines to add detail to the eye areas. With each curve, we're segmenting the eye shape and creating more detail. The first upward curves create the eyebrows. Then we add the eyelids, and finally the outline of the eyes. On top, we'll bring the forehead crown to a peak.
Draw inward curves to create the inner edge of the lower beak. On top of the beak, we'll add nostrils and some ornamental detail to the cheekbones.
The forehead crown should have a thin golden rim. Within that shape, we want to draw a simple outline for a snake's body. Inside the mouth, we'll draw a row of sharp teeth on both the top and bottom. This is where the design gets a little crazy.
Add the tongue as a large, lumpy mass inside the mouth. Then add the rear teeth going straight back into the mouth. Draw some thin curves for eyelids just around the eyeballs. Then add the striped pattern to the cobra on the forehead.
Now we can use bolder lines, giving the head dress a more controlled outline. The fabric bends just above the eyebrow shapes, creating a little fold on each side.
Repeat the outline inward, with thinner lines. Then use curves to create a striped pattern running down each side of the head dress.
Here we'll outline the main shape of the pectoral/chest muscles, leaving a little space between them on the bottom for the sternum. Add a curve for each side of the ribcage. We can also add some curves for neck muscles.
Use the sharp point of each chest muscle as a starting place for the bicep curve. The curve of the underarm disappears behind the chest muscle.
Next we'll focus on the simple shapes of the armor pieces. There's a diamond plate on the lower stomach. Each side plate has a similar shape, but cut in half as we view them from the sides. Use long curves to outline the draped cloth. End each outer line with a blocky or triangle shape to create bends in the cloth. The inner portion of the cloth curves in the opposite direction, creating depth.
The fabric on Ra's thighs wrinkles perfectly in a down-and-outward pattern. Let's add some detail to the arm guards and hip armor.
Use more open, curvy lines to build the shapes of the legs over the guide lines. The diamond shapes of the knees become more fluid, with a little bump for each patella. Add a little hook for each ankle bone. We can also use some large curves to define the muscles on the upper legs. Other than these items, we're mainly just smoothing out the shapes from the guide drawing.
I decided to give Ra some claws or talons on his toes, and then added a ribbed pattern running up his lower legs. This really gives him a half-animal appearance.
Use S-like curves to outline the muscles of the upper arms. Notice how the biceps are turned outward, and we see a lot of the inside and back of the arm from this angle. With those in place, add curves across the shoulders and chest for some chest clothing.
I strongly suggest looking at your own hands for reference while you draw. If it helps, take a photo with your camera or phone and look at that as you draw. It's best way to get natural poses for the hands, even when drawing in a cartoon style. As you can see here, the bend of the fingers can be quite extreme.
Back to the torso, use thin lines down the center and sides of the abdominal/stomach muscles. After that we can start outlining the shape of the ribs and side muscles using S-curves.
I decided to get less accurate with the anatomy and go for something stylized for the abs. I used shallow S-curves dipping inward toward the center for each row of abs. This creates a nice repeating V pattern. The little patches of black help to add some dimension and design to the torso.
To take it one step further, I added a little curve below each stomach muscle to create a series of "eyes." We'll draw a more traditional Egyptian-style eye on the center armor plate. A few curves create a nice armband on one upper arm. Then we'll add some twirly tail-shapes for ornaments on the shoulders.
And that wraps it up! When you erase your guide lines and see that crisp black line art, it really pops. I think this is a pretty extreme version of Ra, and I hope you like it. Let me know in the comments section below if there are any other mythological characters you'd like me to draw. Thanks for viewing!
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